All eyes might be on the three-star eventing action at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials this weekend (13-17 September 2017), but it would be a mistake to bypass the High Jump Challenge (if only to get a glimpse of eventers minus some of their clothing...)
What is the Blenheim Horse Trials High Jump Challenge?
The rules are simple for the High Jump Challenge — whoever jumps the highest, wins. It’s a knockout style jumping class, where there is just one fence that gets higher and higher. Should the horse knock down the fence they are out of the next round unless the rider chooses to buy a ‘life’ (they are allowed one extra life) and have another attempt or remove their saddle/piece of clothing and jump the fence again.
Where does it take place?
The Attraction Arena at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
When does it take place?
2pm on Sunday 17 September 2017.
Who is the reigning champion?
The eight daring riders who stepped up to the Blenheim Horse Trials High Jump Challenge last year had some equally challenging weather to contend with. Four riders remained (Vicky Laing, Jack Pinkney, Scarlett Ward and Gemma Tattersall) when it was decided that the ground was no longer safe for the horses, and they called it a tie — with the £500 prize money being donated to Willberry Wonder Pony (the charity which funds bone cancer research, in memory of eventer Hannah Francis who died aged 18).
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The countdown is on for this week's Blenheim…
What can you expect?
Standby by for thrills, spills and a hefty dose of nakedness as riders try to prove their mettle in front of an eagle-eyed crowd. It’s not just eventers who take on the challenge — National Hunt jockey Sam Twiston-Davies has previously been on the line-up, along with young showjumper Scarlett Ward.
When the fence is reaching the dizzy heights of 1m90 and tack is minimal, we recommend you have your cameras at the ready…
To find out more about Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials visit blenheimhorse.co.uk
Don’t miss our full report from the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in the 21 September 2017 issue of Horse & Hound magazine